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Sports

Irish look to finish strong in ACC

| Friday, March 26, 2021

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish men’s tennis team (9-7, 3-3 ACC) bounced back last week taking down Marquette in a 6-1 win. Now, they are looking forward to improving their standing in the ACC this weekend against the Florida State Seminoles (5-11, 0-6 ACC) and the University of Miami (4-7, 2-4 ACC) in Tallahassee, Florida.

Florida State is trying to keep its head above water in a year marked by difficulty stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. This weekend, they will be trying to squeak out their first ACC win this season and turn the tides that have led them to six straight losses. Miami is looking to pick up steam after snapping their five-match losing streak with a 4-3 victory over South Florida.

Notre Dame men’s tennis is currently ranked dead center in the ACC at #7. With seven of their eight remaining matchups being in conference, they currently control their own destiny. Freshman starter and blue-chip recruit Jean-Marc Malkowski believes “the ACC is arguably the strongest conference in college tennis with lots of players ranked professionally and competing at very high levels.” With positive results this weekend, they will be in a great position to conclude their season near the top of the conference.

The Irish boarded their flight on Wednesday with high hopes for the remainder of their season. Malkowski asserted that the team “has been improving more and more over the course of the season … Right now, we have our full team and are ready to finish in style.”

Notre Dame’s men’s tennis team was, like many others in the ACC, impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic earlier this season. With all their players healthy, they are prepared to make a strong push to end the season.

Malkowski and the Irish tennis team are already looking forward to taking on the ACC’s top-ranked Virginia (13-2, 7-0 ACC) on April 16. “[Virginia] is a high-level team ranked 4th in the nation,” he said. “Nevertheless, we will treat each matchup the same and prepare accordingly.”

This penultimate competition will present the greatest remaining challenge for Notre Dame men’s tennis.

The first matchup against Florida State will kick off at 5:30 p.m. on Friday. The Fighting Irish have outperformed the Seminoles on all fronts this season and should prove it this weekend.

Sunday at 11:00 a.m., Miami will host Notre Dame to end off the week. These two matchups will set the pace for their last month of 2021 competition.

About John Stolmeier

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